Writer & Artist: Sean Murphy
Colors: Matt Hollingsworth
Letters: Todd Klein
The central theme of Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight has been whether or not Batman is truly the hero that Gotham needs or is he as bad as the villains he is constantly in conflict with. A reformed Jack Napier, seemingly cured of being the Joker, has made it his life’s work to show Gotham that Batman is the true criminal of Gotham and the actual super villain of the tale. Working both inside and outside of the law Jack has redefined how the Batman is perceived by both the public and the GCP, turning the citizens and even Batman’s loyalist of allies against him. All of his work was finally achieved as Batman was finally committed to Arkham. Then Jack realized he was wrong.
Batman: White Knight #8 is the culmination of what has been one of the best Batman tales in recent years. Sean Murphy has outdone himself in both story and art. As the book opens Batman and Jack have formed an uneasy alliance as they need each other to defeat the Neo-Joker (a former Harley who wants a return of the Joker) as she holds Gotham hostage with a giant freeze gun aimed to destroy the city. Batman has armed the Special Gotham Police Taskforce, the GTO, with an arsenal of Batmobiles (a beautiful callback to classic Batmobiles from comics and film) to defeat the Neo-Joker and her mind controlled army of super villains. While this is happening Jack is also trying to control the Joker, who is starting to manifest himself as the medication Jack takes to keep the monster at bay is no longer working. What ensues is an excellent comic battle with a stunning conclusion that leaves the reader wanting more, which we will hopefully get.
Allowing Sean Murphy to tell this tale was pure genius on the part of DC. He obviously has a deep affinity for the character and as an ‘elseworlds’ book Murphy was able to take a few liberties with the Bat Universe but none to a degree you won’t recognize this Gotham or the principle players. Murphy’s art is detailed and has a wonderful kinetic energy to it. It’s hard to make a car chase in comics compelling but Murphy accomplishes this feat, and the throwback Batmobiles was inspired. Murphy has hinted that there will be more Batman tales set in this universe and I hope it happens sooner rather than later.
Verdict:Batman: White Knight #8is the perfect ending to this fantastic Batman tale. Sean Murphy masterfully wraps up his alternate Batman tale and does so with style. Any fan of the story will enjoy this culmination and people who had been on the fence should look for a collected edition soon and devour this beautiful mini-series.